Dr Christa Lam-Cassettari

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Infant Studies

Research Program: Speech and Language


Christa Lam-Cassettari is a Researcher in Infant Studies with MARCS BabyLab at Western Sydney University. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) and PhD degrees from Western Sydney University. Lam-Cassettari investigates quantitative and qualitative differences in infant-directed speech (IDS) input and the role of IDS in supporting early language development. Her main interests are investigating social-emotional and language development in children from 0-5 years of age, without or with hearing loss. Other research interests include differences in parent-child interactions with mothers and fathers, the effect of postnatal depression on parent-child communication and emotional expression, and the role of family centered early interventions in improving child outcomes.

Dr Christa Lam-Cassettari's research focuses on factors that affect early language acquisition, including the role of infant-directed speech in supporting early communication, and the extent to which infant responsiveness shapes caregiver responsiveness and the quality of speech input. Her work includes infants with normal hearing and hearing-loss, children with additional needs, and families affected by postnatal depression.

Lam-Cassettari completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Nottingham Biomedical Research Unit in Hearing, and Nottingham University (UK) to investigate the effects of a psychosocial video-feedback intervention on parent-child communication in the context of congenital child hearing-impairment. She also attained Phase 2 accreditation in the delivery of the video feedback intervention that enhances parent-child communication in families, and is currently completing her Phase 3 accreditation in Video-interaction Guidance.

Research Interests

  • Infant-directed speech (IDS)
  • Production and perception of emotion in IDS
  • Language Development
  • Postnatal depression
  • Parent-child interaction
  • Emotional availability
  • Early interventions
  • Infant hearing loss

Qualifications and Honours

    The impact of vocal emotion on early word learning: Behavioural and neural responses to parental infant-directed speech in Swedish and Australian English, Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation, 4 087 000 (SEK), Co-Investigator 2014-2019

    Contingency in infant-directed speech: Neurophysiological and psycho-social responses in pre-linguistic infants [via ANU CoE], $19 919, Investigator

    Identifying deleterious effects of maternal depression on communication with 6-month-old infants in South West Sydney, South West Sydney Research Grant, 2016-2017, $20 000, Co-investigator

    Mummy can we play like this: affective intent and non-verbal communication with hearing-impaired infants, Western Sydney University, Career Interruption Grant, 2015, $10 000, Investigator

    PhD, Psychology, MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University, Australia

    Bachelor of Psychology, Honours Class 1. Western Sydney University, Australia

    Video Interaction Guidance, Phase 2 accredited

Past Positions

  • Postdoctoral Research Officer, MARCS Institute BabyLab, Western Sydney University (2012-2014)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2012), National Institute of Health Research Nottingham Biomedical Research Unit in Hearing, University of Nottingham, UK
  • Tutor (Biological Psychology and Perceptual Processes, 2008, 2009, 2010), School of Psychology, Western Sydney University.
  • Tutor (Human Learning and Cognition, 2007), School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University.

Full Publications

For a full listing of my publications, please see my Google Scholar page (opens in a new window).

Contact Christa

Phone+61 2 9772 6276
LocationWestern Sydney University Bankstown campus (Bullecourt Ave, Milperra)